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Dec 29, 2012

Clint Hill questions teammates' desire

Defender Clint Hill has warned his QPR teammates they should leave Loftus Road next month if their commitment to the club's Barclays Premier League survival bid is in question.

Two successive defeats have left Rangers at the foot of the table, six points adrift of safety, and Sunday they host Liverpool before travelling to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Hill, who has started all six matches under Harry Redknapp, questioned whether some of the foreign players recruited by former manager Mark Hughes during the summer have the desire to keep the club in the top flight.

The 34-year-old insisted any player failing to show the necessary determination should be shown the exit in the transfer window.

"It's different cultures and the ways the foreigners have been brought up is different. Do they get taught that losing is hard to accept? I don't know," he said. "It's a different mentality. It hurts and it should hurt everyone no matter what culture or country you're from.

"As much as I can I've spoken to those players. I'm 34, I've played most of my career in the lower leagues and we are talking about Champions League winners, people who have won Premier Leagues, FA Cups.

"You hope there is a desire within them. To win those kind of medals there must have been. We need that as a team, we need it as a unit.

"The message is simple: you have to be together and be up for the fight. If you don't fancy it then January is around the corner. If you don't fancy it then off you pop, simple as that.

"Our first-half report has been pretty horrendous. Look at the papers -- it's everywhere. You can't be a proud man to look at a paper or look at Sky News and see you're bottom of the league. If there's any time for action, it's now."

Jose Bosingwa, a Champions League winner with Chelsea, has emerged as the main villain following his refusal to sit on the bench for the 2-1 victory over Fulham two weeks ago when told that he had been dropped.

A fine of two-weeks wages -- equating to 130,000 pounds ($206,000) -- followed and the Portuguese right back has yet to figure in Redknapp's plans since with the QPR boss incensed by his attitude.

"The gaffer was right, there is no beating around the bush. If you don't want to go on the bench do you want to be here? Do you want to fight? Do you want to be in a scrap with your team-mates? That hurt us as a group, definitely," Hill said. "We have all been on the bench, dropped and been told we can go. We all earn good money, if you can't sit on the bench then there has to be something wrong.

"It can be hard to see him at work. You want people who are going to be next to you, fighting for the cause. If you can't sit on the bench and support the lads then why are you here? What are you doing here?"

While Bosingwa has been busy making enemies, Hill has been displaying the type of attitude demanded by Redknapp.

Having fallen out of favor under Hughes, last term's fans' and players' player of the season thought his time in west London was over until Redknapp arrived last month.

Sensing the desire in Hill, Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie, who were key figures in QPR's promotion to the Premier League last year, Redknapp has given them more prominent roles.

Hill's greatest complaint is that the players who excelled in the Championship weren't given more of a chance.

"Of course I was hurt when we bought so many new players and I'm not the only one," said the boyhood Liverpool fan. "There were another 10 or 11 players who had done well for this club and brought us up from the Championship, which is a hard league.

"It might not have the quality in individuals, but it's a tough, tough league to get out of. As one of the players who played Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday and fought for everything, it can be hard to take. We're not naive to think we didn't need change, it's just a case of how much change."

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